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Reviewing the preseason predictions for Ohio State and Big Ten men’s basketball

Spoiler: They were wrong, very wrong.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Houston vs Ohio State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

The college basketball season is officially over. Virginia ended up being the last team standing on the dance floor, outlasting Texas Tech in overtime on Monday night in Minneapolis.

Now that the Big Dance is over, it’s time to look back at the preseason predictions and NCAA bracket I made—and see how wrong they were.


Conference standings

The top three predictions came to fruition. Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan were the top three teams in the Big Ten. However, everything after that was a disaster.

I thought Nebraska was a top-5 conference team. That looked semi plausible, right up until Isaac Copeland got hurt; once that happened, all went wrong for the Cornhuskers as they ended in the penultimate spot at the bottom. Another team I put too much stock into was Indiana. I thought the addition of Romeo Langford would shake the rust off the Hoosiers’ winning ways—and for a brief time, that looked like a good prediction. However, Big Ten play was brutal for Archie Miller’s program and IU stumbled.

Iowa and Wisconsin were two other big whiffs I made. The Hawkeyes and Badgers did significantly better than what I thought they’d do. Ethan Happ was one of the best players in the conference for Wiscy, and Jordan Bohannon was just one piece of the Iowa puzzle that got them into the AP Poll throughout the season.

My OSU pick was close. I had the Buckeyes sitting at No. 7 in the preseason prediction; they ended in eighth.

Preseason prediction

1. Michigan State
2. Purdue
3. Michigan
4. Nebraska
5. Indiana
6. Minnesota
7. Ohio State
8. Maryland
9. Wisconsin
10. Iowa
11. Penn State
12. Northwestern
13. Illinois
14. Rutgers

Actual Standings

T1. Michigan State
T1. Purdue
3. Michigan
4. Wisconsin
5. Maryland
6. Iowa
7. Minnesota
8. Ohio State
9. Indiana
10. Rutgers
11. Penn State
12. Illinois
13. Nebraska
14. Northwestern


Big Ten Player of the Year

Preseason pick: Carsen Edwards, Purdue

Actual: Cassius Winston, Michigan State

I missed the Player of the Year choice, but in a way I’m willing to contest this. Yeah, Winston won the award, but the March run by Edwards was stuff of legend. He nearly beat Virginia by himself, and the Boilermakers were seconds away from punching their ticket to the Final Four.

If they named the conference Player of the Year at the very end of the season—like today—then I think Edwards would win.


Big Ten Freshman of the Year

Preseason pick: Romeo Langford, Indiana

Actual: Ignas Brazdeikis, Michigan

This one was a whiff. I thought Langford would be the de facto choice. Quite frankly, I didn’t even know of a Ignas Brazdeikis until conference play began. John Beilein can recruit, coach, and develop talent, so I’ll be on the lookout next season.


All-Big Ten Selections

Preseason: Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Charles Matthews (Michigan), Romeo Langford (Indiana), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), James Palmer Jr. (Nebraska)

These were the First Team selections I had at the beginning of the season. In actuality, Edwards and Happ made First Team. Langford made it to Second Team, and Palmer Jr. made it on Third Team. Matthews, however, didn’t make any of the three teams nor did he make honorable mention.

The actual First Team All-Conference included Bruno Fernando (Maryland), Lamar Stevens (Penn State) and Winston.


Big Ten Tournament Championship Game

Preseason pick: Michigan State over Indiana

Actual: Michigan State over Michigan

At least I got half of it. Michigan State was the winner, but my Indiana pick was way off base. Again, I bought big stock in the Hoosiers, only to wind up with nothing.


NCAA Tournament

Preseason [seeding]: Michigan State [1], Purdue [3], Indiana [5], Michigan [6], Nebraska [7], Ohio State [10]

I thought six Big Ten teams were going to go dancing in the preseason. It’s a good thing I was wrong, as eight teams punched their ticket.

Seeding wise, I got Purdue’s correct. And narrowly missed on Michigan State and Ohio State—was one seed off.

Michigan did a lot better this season than I thought. Basically, if I took my Hoosier stock and converted it to Wolverine stock, then I would’ve done astronomically better. But, woe is life.

Indiana and Nebraska were teams that I completely missed on, as none of them went to the NCAA Tournament—but made the NIT. The three teams in my NIT prediction (Maryland, Minnesota and Wisconsin) all made the Big Dance.


Bonus: Final Four

What my bracket had: Duke, Michigan, Kansas State, North Carolina

Actual: Michigan State, Texas Tech, Virginia, Auburn

lol


In Conclusion

Basketball predictions are hard. A whole slew of things can happen (e.g. injuries) that can throw off predictions. Even filling out brackets is part science, part art, and part luck.

But, predictions are fun to make.

Anyway, I hope you DVR’d your college basketball games from the past season, as we’ll have to go six months before we see it again.